Lobo Softball Signs Five to 2022 Signing Class
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The University of New Mexico softball program has added five student-athletes to the 2022 signing class, head coach Paula Congleton announced on Wednesday.
Congleton and staff have signed a pitcher, a catcher/ utility player, and three outfielders, with four from the state of Texas and one from Arizona.
On the group as a whole, Congleton says, “our 2022 class is another very talented group of players both offensively and defensively. We can’t wait to see what kind of impact they will have.”
BELLA MITCHELL | PITCHER | NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS
A right-hander from Canyon High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Mitchell was named the District 5A Pitcher of the Year and was on the 2019 team that won district on the way to finishing fourth in the state. In addition, her team was the area champion in 2021.
As a member of the Texas Bombers, Mitchell was named defensive MVP in 2013, 2015 and 2016, and was part of the USSSA Select Elite champions in 2015 and 2018.
“I am looking forward to coaching Bella next fall and helping her achieve her goals academically and athletically,” Congleton said. “Bella has great presence in the circle which will serve her well. She is gifted and adds something special to our diversified pitching staff. I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Bella to our Lobo family.”
Intending to major in theatre arts, Mitchell chose UNM because, “I’ve always wanted to go somewhere where I feel comfortable and where I’m going to get to go play softball and do theatre. UNM has great people, the best softball program, and just an all-around great place to be. Coach Paula (Congleton) is a great coach and her coaching style and how she goes about coaching is who I want to play for for the next 4 years.”
GRACE RANA | CATCHER/ UTILITY | QUEEN CREEK, ARIZ.
From Arizona, Rana has proven to have a strong bat during her high school career at Queen Creek High School to go along with her skill behind the plate.
During her 2019-20 season, the new Lobo hit 61 singles, 19 doubles, two triples, six home runs and accounted for 61 RBI, hitting .454. Her next season was even better, hitting 29 doubles, 13 home runs, two triples and 50 singles with 84 RBI and an impressive .418 batting average.
Rana was named defensive player of the year in 2019, second team all-region in 2019 and honorable mention in 2021.
“Grace is a versatile player that I am excited to welcome to our Lobo family,” Congleton stated. “Her knowledge and command of the field as a catcher will bring a powerful arm behind the dish. Grace comes to the Lobos with toughness and a personality that will allow her to thrive in our program.”
For Rana, she “chose The University of New Mexico because of the culture and the amazing program Coach Congleton has built. Being able to wear a Lobos jersey and represent the city of Albuquerque has been a dream of mine since my first visit to the campus. I am proud to finally be a Lobo and can’t wait to play for such amazing coaches and teammates.”
SELESTE COMPIAN | OUTFIELDER | ROSENBERG, TEXAS
During her high school career at George Ranch High School, the outfielder was named to the all-district team in 2021 and honorable mention all-district in 2019.
Like Mitchell, Compian comes to New Mexico from the Texas Bombers club team, and was a member of the Colorado Sparkler Tournament championship team in 2019.
“Seleste plays for a great organization in the Texas Bombers as a utility that can play anywhere and keep defenses guessing with her gap-to-gap, small ball hitting and great speed,” noted Congleton. “I am looking forward to seeing Seleste bring her competitive edge while making her mark on our program.”
For Compian, it was the family culture that she experienced when on campus that sold UNM for her.
EVANY GONZALEZ | OUTFIELDER | ALVIN, TEXAS
Able to play outfield or the middle infield, Gonzalez was first team all-district, first team all-state and first team academic all-state during her time at Lutheran South Academy. At the plate, the new Lobo held a .683 batting average and a .729 on-base percentage.
For her club team, the Hotshots, Gonzalez hit .312 with 16 stolen bases among her notable stats. While playing for the Hotshots, she won seven national titles and one PGF national title.
Academically, she was a member of the National Honor Society and was on the honor roll three consecutive years.
“Without a doubt Evany is going to have an impact on Lobo softball,” states Congleton. “She brings high energy, intense work ethic and great athleticism to our team. She is a versatile athlete with speed and quickness playing both infield and outfield. She’s gritty and aggressive which I love, and look forward to seeing Evany thrive in our program.”
On why New Mexico was the school for her, Gonzalez said, “The culture and the atmosphere, right away it felt like home.”
KEYANNAH CHAVEZ | OUTFIELDER |LEANDER, TEXAS
Chavez is another outfielder from Texas, who comes to New Mexico from the Texas Bombers.
With the Bombers, Chavez made the all-summer team as a top outfielder in the nation.
While at Glen High School, Chavez and her team made the playoffs all four years and won the district championship in 2018. Chavez was a dual sport athlete in high school, also playing basketball. She earned a Gold Glove in 2018 and 2021, broke a record for 26 stolen bases in 2021 and won the Triple Threat Award in three sports.
Chavez will be the third member of her family to attend UNM, joining her mother Cassandra and her cousin Anthony as Lobos. Her mother is also a Lobo softball alum, playing from 2001-06 as a middle infielder.
Further, part of the reason Chavez decided on UNM was because, “it’s my home and to carry on the legacy.”
“Keyannah was our first commit in the 2022 class,” recalled Congleton. “I am so excited about Keyannah joining our Lobo family. Following in her mom’s footsteps, I have no doubt she will make an immediate impact on our success. With great prowess in the outfield, Keyannah will be a great fit with her athleticism and powerful bat.”